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MG MGF Technical - Tracking....I know I know

that this has been done to death and YES I have read all there is about it in the archives but i'm still non the wiser! Basically I have recently changed my 15" wheels for 16's and have had the tracking adjusted at Charlie Browns autocentre in Sheffield. The guy didn't ask me about specific settings etc he just got on with the job. He did mention that the steering wheel might drop from the centre line as a result of the new tracking (which it has)and that I should pop back to have it re-aligned (which I did) about 20mins ago. However, the steering wheel is still offline.

I intend to go back to the garage and ask him to once gain centre the steering wheel. However, I am a little concerned that if he can't centre a steering wheel then nor has he set the tracking appropriately!

I'd like advice as to what are the optimal settings for an MGF with 16" rims and standard suspension with a ride height approx 360mm

I'm looking for stability at motorway speeds and upon braking and would also prefer a slightly heavier steering whilst cornering!

Any help would be gratefully received!

Rob, have you got the rear compliance bush washers fitted? Rear suspension settings have a surprising impact upon how a car steers.

Assuming that you have got them (about 5 quid from Brown and Gammons), go for 0 degrees front, and rear toe-IN of 0 degrees 5 minutes. All measures +/- 3 minutes.

If you haven't got them, use standard rear toe-angle settings.

To get the front end feeling a little more 'pointy' for for a little more toe-IN at the front, and a little less at the back.

You've probably read this already, but a summary of all this malarky can be found at
Rob Bell

Don't worry asking about it. (IMO)
It's difficult enough and the archives contend the whole story since 5 years. There is no final *one and only* solution.

>I am a little concerned that if he can't centre a steering wheel

Poor guy ;)
The procedure is sensitive.
I assume he has to follow the mad computer program effords. No chance to break in and look up anything while the sequence is running. I assume he sees only red and green lights.

Problems so far before the sequence starts:
1. The car must sit on the slides *balanced*, cause the initial measurement of the *straight ahead centre line* of the car gets influenced by the *virtual* vertical line on the rear axle.
With balanced I mean no force to any wheel. This can be reached by...
A. Let the car rest for some hours
B. shake it up and down at the front and rear to balance *play* in rubber bearings etc.

2. The measurement heads must sit balanced on all wheels, cause none equal rims provide measurement failures.
Can be reached by:
Put one the assy to each wheel and balance by turning the wheel (assy not clamped against rotation). Lokk up the best balance option at the water wage attached to each wheel measurement head.

3, play in any wheel bearing or worn ball joints make right adjustment impossible.

The sequence itself.
1. balancing the 4 heads at the wheels (See failure 1)
2. measure the straight ahead line direction
HArd to explain, but the rear axle is mainly involved. Both rear wheel slide stands can move sidewards only and if there is any force to a wheel then the initial line gets wrong and the whole measurement leads to what you find at last now. The steering wheel is not centered
3. Adjustment of the rear wheel Toe angles
4. Adjustment of the front wheel toe angles.

This in short with my few english skills ;)

You see the main trouble is the rear axle and getting it without any force out on the slide stands.

The second later trouble relates to the front wheels. Though the slides where the wheels rest on can move in any horizontal direction.

Not much help ?
Anyway, get back and let him try the third time.
He must bounce the car at the front and rear after he let the car down on the moving slides. This is vital.

Kind Regards
PS may be my silly alignment site helps on getting the problem... Online since three years and still not ready

Dieter K.

Ooops, written parallel ;)

I'd underline what Rob mentions, as usual
Compliance washers minimise the rear axle movement.
Makes live much easier for the poor guy.
PU bushes as well.
Dieter K.

This thread was discussed on 11/04/2003

MG MGF Technical index

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